Miscarriage is incredibly common, but because it is so common, there are loads of myths that seem to be surrounding it. Before we get to busting these myths, it is essential to first understand what it is, the different types of miscarriages, and their causes.
So, What is a Miscarriage?
Miscarriage is the natural death of a fetus before it is viable, and this usually happens in the first 20 weeks of your pregnancy. Known in medical jargon as ‘spontaneous abortions,’ miscarriage is one of the most common pregnancy-related issues.
The American College of Obstetricians &Gynecologists (ACOG) estimates that about 15% to 20% of clinically recognized pregnancies end up in miscarriages. Even though miscarriage is common, it is often also an extremely traumatic and devastating experience. Many women may even have a miscarriage before they know they are pregnant or before a healthcare provider has confirmed the pregnancy.
Are There Many Types of Miscarriages?
It is classified as a threatened miscarriage when women sometimes experience signs of miscarriage such as bleeding with lower backache. However, the loss of pregnancy has not yet occurred.
Incomplete Miscarriage happens when partial tissue from the pregnancy gets expelled from the uterus, and a part of it remains inside. Complete Miscarriageoccurswhen all of the tissue from the pregnancy gets expelled from the body.
In a missed miscarriage, the embryo dies, but the body does not expel the pregnancy tissue. There are no symptoms such as bleeding or pain. On the other hand, the occurrence of multiple consecutive miscarriages is known as Recurrent Miscarriages. Lastly, Septic Miscarriage Occurs when the tissues from a missed or incomplete miscarriage become infected.
What Are The Common Myths About Miscarriages?
Women Blame Themselves: Perhaps one of the most common myths surrounding a miscarriage is that women blame themselves for the occurrence. They feel that it has something that she has done or has not done that results in the miscarriage. Miscarriages occur as a result of chromosomal or genetic abnormalities of the embryo, and there is nothing that one can do to influence that. It does not mean that there is anything wrong with the woman or her partner. It is a chance event that can very commonly occur and sadly lead to a miscarriage.
Increasing Age Increases Chances of Miscarriage: Another common myth that revolves around miscarriages is that the risk of miscarrying increases as the woman ages. Under the age of 35, this risk is around 25%. Between the ages of 35 to 40, the chance of a miscarriage increases to 33%. When a woman goes over 40, the risk can go up to about 50%. The reason behind this is that the eggs which used to create the baby are, in fact, more abnormal themselves. They have aged, much like the women have and, therefore, can have more chromosomal abnormalities, ultimately influencing the risk of miscarriage.
A number of studies report that paternal age is as important as maternal age. This is particularly so with men aged over 40, where more sperm abnormalities can contribute to an increased risk of miscarriage. Though this is not anywhere near as high as for a woman who may be of the same age, it is still a key factor. Paternal age tends to be associated with single-gene defects. While this does not necessarily lead to miscarriage, but there is still an association.
Sickness Causes Miscarriage: Another popular myth is that getting sick during pregnancy can cause a miscarriage. This belief does have a degree of truth to it. As a matter of fact, most common infections like the flu or urinary tract infection will not result in a miscarriage and are easily treatable during pregnancy.
Abdomen Injury Causes Miscarriage: In most cases where the trauma is minor, it does not necessarily lead to a miscarriage. However, in the case of significant trauma, for example, if a pregnant woman is involved in a vehicle accident or a head-on collision, the severity of the experience may potentially lead to a miscarriage.
How Can You Prevent Miscarriages?
Miscarriages do not come with prior warning. Whilst you cannot really prevent them from happening, you can certainly take the necessary precautions to ensure that you have a healthy pregnancy.
Most healthcare experts recommend the following:
- Alcohol, drug, and smoking cessation during pregnancy
- Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet comprising of plenty of folic and calcium
- Immunization against communicable diseases
- Lighter, regular exercise to increase fetal health
Can Any Woman Have A Miscarriage?
Most women blame themselves for miscarriages, but most miscarriages happen for reasons beyond the individual’s control. It can happen to any woman. While the experience of a miscarriage is devastating, most women who have experienced a miscarriage have in the future gone on to have healthy pregnancies.
If you’ve had miscarriages before, why not meet a specialist from MotherToBe, a leading fertility center in Hyderabad that can provide you with the right answers to your concerns. Our team of medical specialists has years of experience and training that will ensure that your next pregnancy is a healthy one.